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Allen County Coroner says he was not asked to arrest the Sheriff

Fort Wayne, IND. (WPTA21) – It’s a story we have been following since the very beginning, the Allen County Sheriff allegedly involved in an altercation at the Three Rivers Festival that injured a teenage volunteer and prompted an Indiana State Police investigation.

According to Indiana state law, the only person who can arrest the Sheriff is the County Coroner. ABC21 reached out to Allen County Coroner Dr. Craig Nelson, who told us he was never asked to serve a warrant for an arrest for Sheriff David Gladieux.

ABC21 received a police log from City of Fort Wayne’s Law Department on Friday. The report, which was heavily redacted, left the public mostly in the dark about what happened that night. One part that was not redacted was that Fort Wayne Police coded the incident as simple assault, disorderly conduct, and an intoxicated person. We also know the teenage volunteer involved, but ABC21 is choosing not to name him. According to the police log, the victim fell and injured himself on a pipe. No arrests were made that night.

Dan Sigler is a former prosecutor out of Adams County. He says officers hesitate to make an arrest on the spot for simple assault unless they see it themselves.

“Officers I think as a rule in my experience tend to be reluctant to arrest on the basis of what witnesses tell them without the opportunity to evaluate the witnesses, question them, and gather whatever physical evidence there might be,” said Sigler.

He says arrests for public intoxication are more common.

“If public safety is involved, I think then all the sudden we flip to a situation of caution to act on the part of the officer, to caution for the safety of the public, and that always trumps any other course I think,” said Sigler.

This year, officers arrested two people at the Three Rivers Festival. One of those arrests included a call for public intoxication. ABC21 dug deeper and requested the numbers of all arrests at the Three Rivers Festival going back to 1994.

Police have arrested festival goers every year for the last 26 years, arresting as many as 46 people in 1995, and as few as two people six years ago. Fort Wayne Police don’t keep track of the types of arrests, so we don’t know what those arrests were for with the exception of the two arrests made this year.

Kayla Stewart

Kayla Stewart anchors ABC21 Morning News.

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